This is the recording project that kick-started it all. Recorded in March of 2011 and released on Record Store Day in April of 2011, all 500 copies of the vinyl record release have been sold. This recording will not be repressed on vinyl, however, it will soon be made available for purchase on compact disc.
As mentioned elsewhere, the project started out as a way to bring some attention upon the local music scene. As the idea began to take hold, we also thought that a great way to market the record, and to get it into as many hands as was possible, was to tie the project to a very worthy, and local, cause.
Several years back, Steve was involved with a fund raising project spearheaded by Paul Ruby, who was, and is, the manager of the Herrington Inn located in Geneva, Illinois. Paul and his brother Mike asked Steve to put together the music for this fund raising event which would benefit Katrina Hurricane victims.
The three of them created an all day music event and ended up raising over $50,000 … all of it going to the American Red Cross to benefit those affected by Hurricane Katrina. Paul, Mike and Steve were awarded the Hometown Heroes Award by The American Red Cross for setting a record for a one day single event fund raiser.
Several years after that event, Paul was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. And, instead of letting the news of this, and the disease itself, get the best of him, Paul set up a foundation whose mission is to find a cure for Parkinson’s Disease. And, because of the friendship and association that began when he was asked to participate in the Bash For The Bayou benefit event, Steve decided that the Made In Aurora project’s net proceeds would be given to The Paul Ruby Foundation in hopes of helping Paul and his army of volunteers and supporters find a cure.
To date, the Paul Ruby Foundation has raised in excess of a half million dollars with all of that going to definitive research conducted by Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. The Made In Aurora project contributed $2500 to Paul’s foundation back in 2011 and hopes to contribute more through the sales of Made In Aurora Vol.02, and other projects that may take place in the future.
The Made In Aurora Vol.01 recording project brought together a very diverse group of musicians, some of whom were not known to one another. Although the title might imply that the record was strictly an Aurora project, it was anything but the case. Hailing from all over the Fox Valley area, the musical background and interests were as varied as the landscape of our country. In fact, that brings up a good point, which is to say that the common denominator amidst all of the artists is that there was a thread of Americana that was embedded in everyone’s clothing.
Made In Aurora was, made in Aurora … at BackThird Audio … a beautiful recording studio located in the heart of downtown Aurora on Stolp Boulevard. The room in which the MIA recordings took place added a warmth to the recordings that would not have been found elsewhere, we think. And, a new friendship was established between Steve and Benjie Hughes (owner of BackThird) that has lead to other musical endeavors, of which the most signficant is yet to be realized.
Most importantly, the music of the artists involved in Made In Aurora got heard by a lot of folks who may not of otherwise have had an opportunity to hear them perform. To this day, people drop by the Kiss The Sky record store owned by Steve and comment on how much they still enjoy the record, and a lot of them have since purchased music by some of the artists that contributed to the record.
And so, it is all about the music. To that end, you can click on the page, on this website, entitled Now Hear This, and listen to the album in it’s entirety if you so choose. So, take a Piece of the Sun along Charlotte Avenue and drop by the Hong Kong Cafe and Hunker Down while trying to not to become Unglued because your forgot Valentine’s Day and this is The Bitter End! Rise and Shine … Once A Week Won’t Kill You at any Cost!